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[Some, but not all of this will be familar to Peter from a private-mail
Lots of people come to Linux events with their MS-Windows preloads,
wanting us to set up dual-boot. Which we've been able to do, thanks to
resizer utilities like FIPS, GNU Parted, etc. Recently, Microsoft has
thrown a curveball at us: Recent preloads have tended to use NTFS
filesystems, rather than FAT. Most resizing tools -- and all of the
common open-source ones -- are FAT-only. This is starting to become a
After much checking, I've found the following options:
-- four proprietary tools that are retail-only.
-- one proprietary tool that's lawfully redistributable and 30-day shareware.
-- one open-source tool.
They are detailed below.
1. Retail-only, proprietary:
o PowerQuest Corp.'s Partition Magic: $80, retail / pay first
o Paragon Software's Partition Manager: $40, retail / pay first
o Acronis OS Selector: $45, trial version avail., but it's crippled.
o V-Communications's System Commander 7: $70, retail / pay first
All of these are licensed for a _single_ user (unless you pay a much
more expensive fee for multi-machine usage). You _cannot_ lawfully (let
alone ethically) just buy a copy and use it on all the machines that
come in the door.
2. Redistributable (by individuals who don't charge), 30-day trial:
o TeraByte Unlimited's BootIt Next Generation: $29.95 "shareware", 30 day trial
http://www.terabyteunlimited.com/downloads/ . Also reportedly on
Simtel sites. Also on my machine, at http://linuxmafia.com/pub/hardware/ ,
as bootit-ng-1.32a.zip . Included is a diskette image. You make the
image, then boot it. (Decline its offer to "install".)
3. Open source:
o The ntfs-progs utilities collection from Anton Altaparmakov's
Linux NTFS Utilities effort, http://linux-ntfs.sourceforge.net/
includes a prerelease "ntfsresize" utility, roughly similar to FIPS.
RECOMMENDATIONS: ntfsresize may be dangerously buggy. Beware! I had
to pull down developer source code from http://linux-ntfs.bkbits.net/
(BitKeeper repository), then hand-hack a Makefile just to make
ntfsresize be included in the compile process. That isn't reassuring.
http://linuxmafia.com/pub/hardware/ carries two versions of the source
tarball, with and without my i386 Linux binaries:
I recommend that Linux activists keep copies of _both_ BootIt NG (the
shareware toolkit) and the open-source ntfs-progs tools around to use
on preloads. I further urge that you give copies of BootIt NG to
end-users _only_ if they hand you a $29.95 cheque made out to TeraByte
Unlimited for the shareware fee. Which you then mail, to make sure it
Why? Because open source isn't about being too cheap to buy
proprietary software. And it _certainly_ isn't about ripping
off proprietary software authors. If people object to paying, they can
try their luck with ntfsresize, or pony up $40 or more for one of the
boxed-set retail alternatives.
Cheers, "Azathoth need not be present to win."
Rick Moen -- Charles O. Baucum, Jr.